That one hike.

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Linked Guide  • Elden Lookout Trail #4, AZ
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Jim_H
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That one hike.

Post by Jim_H »

Here is some drivel, or some waxing nostalgia.

What is the one hike you can't imagine your life to be without, or can't imagine your life to have been without? If you have one, that is. It is the hike, where you look back at it, or look at today, and realize that without it, you would have been lost, bewildered, scared, and without hope. Well, maybe that goes too far. Maybe it isn't even the best hike in the state, or area, or world, or where ever, but it was or is the hike you remember most fondly, and it may have had a huge impact on your life. Maybe it was your best hike, or your favorite, despite what negative (gasp) things others would say about it.

If you notice my current signature, you can guess mine. Despite what many people may have thought 4 or 5 years ago, it isn't Humphrey even though that had a big impact on me and sent me off on many trips to other places that were great, it really is Mount Elden. That, for a number of reasons, is the one hike I can't imagine the period from 8/2006 to 9/2011, and really to 10/2012, to have been without. Even when I became sick of it, I always came back to Elden, and really, except during windy spring, it was great. Even during spring it could be great, I just tended to not like the wind. Since moving from northern Arizona in 10/2012, I use Elden as my rod by which I measure all potential candidates for routine hikes. If I were Sinéad O'Connor, I would sing to it, how nothing compares to....no, no, NO! I wouldn't do that. Ha! Seriously, though.

Even after moving to Kayenta, where there were few hikes, or to Alamogordo, where I did the A Trail and Ortega a lot and they became my routine hikes, I never found quite the level of attachment or enjoyment that I did with Elden, and as I used Elden as my gauge to judge other potentials by, I found these two to be about 2/3 as good, most of the time. The A and Ortega are just a little to long to do fast, and I could have found another potential hike such as Goat Springs since that was very nice, and the ATV use nature of the A really cut back on trail enjoyment. If nothing else, Elden could go fast. I forgot how well I used to do on that trail, and it was about perfect for me and what I can do quickly as an excercise hike. I could enjoy it slowly for fun, and it had options to tack on loops to further places, and if you were crazy enough, you could go to Humphrey from there, too.

What is your one hike, that might be like mine?
"Mmmm, Yes I would, Kent". [ youtube video ]
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neilends
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Re: That one hike.

Post by neilends »

I love the question.

My dad dragged me on a hike when I couldn't have been older than 6 or 7 years old, in the forests of northern Ontario, Canada. On the trail we spotted a small garter snake (just a few inches), which terrified me. Decades later, I still remember how my dad laughed when the snake got mad at us for getting too close and raised itself up like it wanted to bite. His laughter made me realize that everything was under control. This is one of the earliest memories I have of a father-son experience with him. He passed away 10 years ago after a lifetime of as much hiking as he could fit in. His last hike was his usual weekly routine of Seven Falls in Sabino Canyon, literally one month before his death from cancer. So, if anyone's ever curious why I've become fixated with hiking again after a 10+ year hiatus, it all started with that little garter snake hike.
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." --John Adams
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Sun_Ray
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Re: That one hike.

Post by Sun_Ray »

No question for me it was our Rim 2 Rim hike in the Grand Canyon. Very challenging for my wife and I (more for me than her). Dark to dark...felt more of an accomplishment than the marathons we'd run. We still laugh at the mantra we repeated as we got close to the end "what the hell were we thinking?"
Brian
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chumley
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Re: That one hike.

Post by chumley »

Tough one here. But I think it's gotta be the greenbelt. Pure magic.
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chumley
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Re: That one hike.

Post by chumley »

Quartz Peak has a lot of bang for the buck too. :M2C:
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BobP
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Re: That one hike.

Post by BobP »

What is your one hike, that might be like mine?
Its the one I'm looking forward to the most and it sometimes keeps me up at night thinking about it...but alas I still have several years before I can go and a lot can happen before then. The mountain rises almost 25K feet from its base.
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Jim_H
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Re: That one hike.

Post by Jim_H »

Everest?
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BobP
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Re: That one hike.

Post by BobP »

chumley wrote:Quartz Peak has a lot of bang for the buck too.
That is still on my list....but it would likely cost me my marriage since my wife no longer hikes :( .
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BobP
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Re: That one hike.

Post by BobP »

Jim_H wrote:Everest?
Nope...just a mountain that I'm passionate about because of its links to my past. One side of my family lived there for several centuries and its kind of like a pilgrimage I'm looking forward to.
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The_Eagle
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Re: That one hike.

Post by The_Eagle »

chumley wrote:Quartz Peak has a lot of bang for the buck too
I hate that place
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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mazatzal
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Re: That one hike.

Post by mazatzal »

AZ Trail ;)
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The_Eagle
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Re: That one hike.

Post by The_Eagle »

mazatzal wrote:AZ Trail
Beat me to the punch.
Hiking the entire AZT was the event where I got to visit all sorts of Arizona that I never would have thought existed.
I made some lasting friendships (even with some I have not hiked with in 806 days (not that I'm counting....you know who you are))

Another memorable one for sure, was Salt Trail Canyon to LCR Gorge and R2R

But actually there have been very few hikes that I've been on that have not been memorable in at least one way or another.
We are blessed to be able to have a state like this to explore.
There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness."
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outdoor_lover
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Re: That one hike.

Post by outdoor_lover »

Can't give you just one...There have been several...I am still trying to define myself...I suffer from an extreme Fear of Failure, and sometimes that keeps me from doing a Hike altogether....However, I've done some pretty difficult ones where the Fear is incredibly overwhelming, but I've persevered either through the help of some very understanding and patient Friends, or by sheer stubborness when I go at it alone...The incredible Sense of Accomplishment defines me every time, if just for a little while.... ;)
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imike
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Re: That one hike.

Post by imike »

Finger Rock trail to Mt. Kimbell... used to do it three times weekly... and it is where I began the step up to repeat/lap hikes to score longer days. Those hikes include such huge variety of encounters... memories beyond imagination. It was the beginning of realizing that aging was not going to be what I'd thought. Gotta love that trail... those days.
Ageless Mind... Timeless Body... No Way! Use It and Lose It. Just the way it is...
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SpiderLegs
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Re: That one hike.

Post by SpiderLegs »

Probably the hike that I still use as a measuring stick would be Lucky Peak just outside of Boise Idaho. You gain 3500 feet in 5.6 miles, it's generally south facing so in late winter/early spring 80% of the hike is snow free. Just mellow enough of a grade that you could run it if you want, but perfect for power hiking. Plus I could let my dog off leash and let her chase birds and squirrels for a few hours to blow off steam.

Lucky Peak was part of something the locals called the "Grand Slam", four hikes that if done in springtime prepared you well for summer peak bagging. Would give you a solid workout without turning into an all day death march. Lucky Peak was the easiest of the four hikes to get to.
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writelots
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Re: That one hike.

Post by writelots »

I keep coming back to the Bright Angel trail in the Grand Canyon. When I hiked it in the early 90's with my college class (and only to Plateau Point) it was physically the hardest thing I'd ever done, and it dang near killed me. Seriously - I was puking exhausted by the time I got out. From there I started to hike more, so that when I went back, the canyon wouldn't "beat me" like that again. As the years went by, I hiked it again many times, and it progressed from being a brutally difficult blister-inducing exercise in masochism, to something tough-but-doable, to one of the easier hikes I'd do in a year and finally into the realm of ho-hum. I went from thinking it was a real accomplishment in itself to treating it in the same light as driving I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson on the way home (dull but necessary). It's my mark scratched on the kitchen doorway that measures my growth, and I hope it's something that I'll always be able to say beat me only once.
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SuperstitionGuy
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Re: That one hike.

Post by SuperstitionGuy »

After guiding an unruly Boy Scout Troop with an equally bad Scoutmaster to the Roger's Canyon ruins and back one wintery Saturday, I refused to ride back with them to Mesa and instead hiked from the Rogers Trough Trailhead, in a snow storm and most of the night to Reavis Ranch, to the Reavis north Trailhead and on to the Apache Trail bridge at Fish Creek where I finally caught a ride back to town. It was a very exciting and great night time hike in the snow, wind and cold but it would have helped if I had had a flashlight! I will never forget it! :sl:
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Re: That one hike.

Post by _-_ »

Oh that one hike, I still dont know why I didn't die. I think about that owl that woke me up and I started hiking down Hog Canyon again. Finally I did find water, dirty water the best tasting water I ever drank.
I learned a lot that night and I prepare so much better now.
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Bradshaws
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Re: That one hike.

Post by Bradshaws »

Mine would have to be Parsons Trail #144 :) As a child I would beg my parents all the time to go hiking there. We hiked all over the place back then but this place with it's springs, swimming holes and shaded green tunnel was as good as it got for me :D As a parent, I find that Parsons trail is now one of the only hikes that my teenage children look forward to doing. They've even ASKED to go there :o . It isn't as grandiose as the Grand Canyon or as impressive as some titanic peak but to me it is simple and beautiful ;)
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syoung
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Re: That one hike.

Post by syoung »

May 26th 2012 - My first trip up Flatiron. Since moving to the Valley (from Upstate NY) I had hiked a smattering of times in the San Tan's and that was it; perhaps a grand total of 12 miles hiking to my name. I was convinced, however, that I had to make it up that mountain. It was a long, long day; something like 4-6 hours to the top. I felt like someone had beat my legs with a baseball bat for the next several days. But it was worth it. It set me on the path I am on today. It is hard to imagine how drastically my life has changed since that day, but it has.
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